Monday, November 24, 2008

Garrett Hall

Garrett Hall is not sexy arrogance.

Not graduating is.

But not if the main reason you didn’t graduate was your fear of the old biddies at the front desk of Garrett Hall.

Therefore, facing Garrett Hall unabashedly, flicking off the old biddies and grabbing a minor declaration form, crossing out the word “Minor” and writing in “Major”—well that’s sexy arrogance at its finest.

What purpose does Garrett Hall serve, really? It once served the sole purpose of Pick Up Your Course Action Forms Here, until they decided that would make them too useful and instead put a polite flyer in their place, demanding you print out your own form. I think we both know the ladies behind that flyer.

You walk into Garrett Hall and you are instantly bombarded by signs demanding way too much out of you. “TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONES” screams a neon green sign with an Xed out Windows 97 clip-art phone. The phone is grinning. The ladies behind the desk are not. And any of us with the smallest ounce of S.A. are not even moving towards our phone. Some of us are willing to gamble that our phone may not ring and send the ladies into insanity spasms in those 4 minutes we’re in this building. And others of us are confident that it will ring, and anxiously await that moment.

Seriously, what do those ladies do? The last time I was in Garrett Hall, I needed to turn in my graduation form (alas, I haven’t gotten the boot for mis a behaving yet). I politely told this to the lady at the front desk, who did not look up from her four-year-old computer as she raised a pointed finger, Ghost of Christmas’ Future style, at a sign she created. “GRADUATING? GO TO ROOM 118.” I wonder how many times she had to strain her vocal chords before finally deciding that U.Va wasn’t paying her enough for this shit and making a sign.

Down at Room 188, which had a stressful line with arrows outside it, reminiscent of absentee in-person voting booths, had another hard-working Garrett Hall employee inside it. She waited, arms crossed, not saying a word, as I examined the sign above her door. “STOP! GRADUATING? YOU WILL NEED A VISTAA REPORT.”

I turned around, waited a few days, printed my VISTAA report, and attached in neatly with a yellow paper clip. I marched up to Garrett Hall, bypasses the ladies, and did not turn off my cell phone. Room 118 was locked with a sign “CLOSED FOR THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY.” A Windows 97 clip-art turkey greeted me with more hospitality than anyone else in Garrett Hall ever could.